This Must Be the Place


Action / Comedy / Drama


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Downloaded 28,475 times
February 27, 2012 at 01:52 AM


Sean Penn as Cheyenne
Eve Hewson as Mary
Kerry Condon as Rachel
752.52 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 2 / 19

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Sindre Kaspersen 8 / 10

"Wonderful dark comedy..."

Italian screenwriter and director Paolo Sorrentino's fifth feature film which he co-wrote with Italian-born screenwriter Umberto Contarello, was shot on various locations in Ireland, Italy and USA and marks his first English-language film. It tells the story of Cheyenne, a middle-aged, diverge and somewhat bored former rock star who lives a quiet life with his spirited wife Jane in a large house in Dublin, Ireland. Cheyenne hangs out with his friend Jeffery who goes on and on about his many lovers, has a close relationship with a young girl from his neighborhood named Mary and is trying his luck as a stockbroker, but when he learns that his father whom he has not seen for thirty years is dying, he leaves to make peace with him.

This French, Irish and Italian co-production which was initiated by Paolo Sorrentino's interest in Nazi war criminals, is a humorous, rhythmic and efficiently edited drama, a gracefully narrated and well-paced story about family relations, identity, interpersonal relations, reconciliation, war, vengeance and love and a rare study of character which draws an intriguing portrayal of a distinguished man who sets out on a journey of discovery that leads him towards a greater understanding of himself and his estranged relationship with a father he barely knew.

Paolo Sorrentino's directing is distinct and the cinematography by his frequent collaborator Luca Bigazzi is eminent in this character-driven and plot-driven road-movie which is impelled and reinforced by its quick-witted dialog and the detailed and excellent acting performance by Sean Penn who is accompanied by Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch and Kerry Condon's great supporting acting performances. Scottish-born musician David Byrne's significant and memorable score emphasizes the prominent atmosphere in this humane and wonderful dark comedy which gained the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 64th Cannes Film Festival in 2011.

Reviewed by gingerrotan 10 / 10

Offbeat story of development of character

This project apparently germinated when Sean Penn was directing the jury at Cannes at 2008 and told Italian Director Paolo Sorrentino that he was ready, willing and able to take on a Sorrentino project. The first-time viewer watching Sean Penn apply eye make up and lipstick doesn't know whether his character is a psychotic killer or a sad sack cross dresser, but over time we learn that he is a childlike creature, an aging pop star who can be simultaneously a nitwit and a truth-teller. The Nazi connection was a stretch that took me by surprise; it comes about at the death of Penn's character's father. Judd Hirsch playing the role of Nazi hunter galvanizes Penn's lost soul into following his father's mission, and together they pursue a neglected Nazi war criminal to a one-personal trailer park in Utah. Great casting here. Harry Dean Stanton has an intriguing bit part. Francis McDormand is the most understanding spouse in the whole world. Very quirky plot. Can't wait to see it again.

Reviewed by moviexclusive 7 / 10

Alternately quirky and affecting, this heartwarming movie with its laid-back charm and deadpan humour is anchored by a virtuoso performance by Sean Penn

Is there a role which eludes Sean Penn? In Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's English-language debut following his 2008 Cannes hit 'Il Divo', the two-time Academy Award winner takes on an unlikely comedic role as an over-the-hill pop star named Cheyenne and pulls it off with aplomb. Indeed, even though the movie never does quite come together as a cohesive whole, Penn's brilliant performance more than anchors the entire film, and you'll find yourself hard-pressed to take your eyes off him.

To say that Penn owns the entire movie is not an overstatement- right from the start, Penn mesmerises with a bizarre get-up consisting of a jet-black fright wig and all-black lipstick and eyeliner even in the comfort of his own sprawling home. As is typical of such characters, Cheyenne suffers from depression, and besides doing the groceries while his fireman of a wife (Frances McDormand) is off at work, spends most of his time in the day hanging out with a spunky teen Mary (Eve Hewson) at a cafe in a shopping mall.

Purpose is what is lacking in his life- haunted by the suicide of two brothers who said they were inspired by his lyrics, Cheyenne has not been able to return to his music since. For the first half hour, Sorrentino familiarises his audience with the idiosyncrasies of his lead character as well as his marriage with his wife Jane, and thanks to an empathetic performance by Penn, your heart will go out to this lost soul searching for that elusive thing called meaning. It is testament to Penn's flawless performance that you'll still feel the warmth and heart behind his character's eccentricities.

Cheyenne awakens from his stupor when he gets news that his father is dying and promptly makes the travel by cruise- because of his fear of flying- to New York. Unfortunately, he arrives too late, missing the very last opportunity to connect with the father he has not spoken to in years. So when his cousin Richard (Liron Levo) informs him that his dad was obsessed with tracking down a Nazi war criminal at Auschwitz named Aloise Lange (Heinz Lieven), Cheyenne takes it upon himself to complete his father's mission.

And so begins a road trip across the United States, each pit-stop in Michigan, New Mexico and finally Utah offering memorable encounters with locals that in their own way serve to give him closure and reconciliation. Mirroring Cheyenne's own inner transformation, Sorrentino adopts a measured pace as Cheyenne meets a history teacher (Joyce Van Patten), a war widow (Kerry Condon), his dad's fellow Nazi hunter Mordecai Midler (Judd Hirsch) and finally of course Lange himself. Less patient viewers will probably be frustrated, but those willing to accept the laid-back tone of the film will find Cheyenne's journey a rather therapeutic one- especially in its closing lesson on the importance of learning to let go of the past.

Sorrentino, who co-wrote the script with Umberto Contrarello, also lightens the mood of the film with some well-placed deadpan humour, delivered with panache by Penn. A scene where Cheyenne meets a gaggle of women in the lift discussing which brand of lipstick is best and finally gives them due advice just to shut them up is sharply hilarious, while his well-meaning attempt at match-making Mary with an earnest shopping mall staff proves sweet and amusing. But through the varying types of humour, it is Penn's unpretentious acting that makes them work- with a recurring gesture of Penn casually blowing a wisp of hair falling across his face perhaps the most consistently delightful narrative device. Among his co-stars, McDormand shines in her role as Cheyenne's wife, and a sequence where she is practising tai-chi in her lawn while distracted by her husband in the upper window one of the best moments in the film.

For rock fans, the participation of David Bryne is no doubt a highlight in itself, and Sorrentino pleases his fans with an extended concert scene that has the rock star performing the title song of the film while a woman in a room that reflects a period setting floats above the crowd. Nonetheless, for us cinephiles, the delight is in watching Sean Penn take on an unlikely comedic role in spite of his dramatic credentials. If it isn't yet apparent, we'll say it again- Penn's flawless performance is good enough reason to visit this place, and it's one that is warm, touching and unexpectedly affecting.


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